The wife and I got around to watching the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead last night, and while it was okay, so far the show has prequel problems. These aren’t problems that can’t be fixed or resolved as the show goes on, but they left the debut hour and half episode feeling a little flat.
Fear the Walking Dead starts off before the events of the Walking Dead proper, so the world has not yet plunged in to zombie chaos. Instead it is on the verge. A young heroin addict (Frank Dillane) sees his former friend eat some of the other residents of a drug den. When he gets in an accident soon after and is questioned by the cops obviously no one believes him.
Therein lies the problem: we trust the drug addict because we know what is happening and going to happen. Like all prequels, we have more knowledge of events then the characters on screen, so it kills some of the suspense, or at least it doesn’t let us disbelieve along with the cast. We know. Which is unfortunate because this is a long episode, so they really want this slow burn story to build that nonexistent suspense, but instead you are just waiting for them to get on with it.
The writers are also using the audiences’ knowledge to be a little lazy. There is a scene where the addict’s parents (Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis) go and investigate the place where the son saw the events take place, and there is evidence of some brutal happening, so what to do they do? Call and tell the police of an apparent homicide? Nope. They go home. Why you ask? Because the writers know that you know the end of the world is happening post haste, so lets not waste time on getting the cops involved. The problem is that the characters don’t know the end of the world is coming, so of course they would have called. Like I said, prequel problems.
Now judging by next week’s preview a lot of these problems will go away since the end is nigh. Then we will pretty much just have a Walking Dead: LA. Which is a little disappointing because I was hoping for a more of a how/why things fell apart story, not just another location for the show. Who knows maybe I will still get what I want. There are five episodes left, so I will watch and see.